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State fire chiefs to remember Dennis Straight

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By The Staff

The S.C. State Association of Fire Chiefs and other members of the state’s fire service will gather at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 3, to remember firefighters who have died while serving their communities.
The ceremony is at the S.C. Fallen Firefighters Memorial, housed on the grounds of the S.C. Fire Academy, 141 Monticello Trail in Columbia.
One line of duty death occurred Nov. 7, 2018, in Lancaster County.
Assistant Chief Dennis Straight, 59, of the Charlotte Road-Van Wyck Volunteer Fire Department, was killed while working at a motor vehicle collision scene. He had been a member of the department for more than 20 years.
Five more firefighters who died between 1949 and 1973 will also be remembered. These include S.C. Forestry Commission Fire Warden Clarence R. Malphrus, Forestry Commission firefighters Cecil Griggs, Monroe Wilkes and Otis Wilkes, and North Charleston Fire Department firefighter Walter Bryant “Buzz” Varella.
“Every year, we stand alongside each other to pause and honor all of our fallen firefighters,” said Fire Chiefs Association President Chris Smith. “This year, we will remember the service and sacrifice of Chief Dennis Straight and five other firefighters whose names deserve a place on the wall. These were great firefighters who were devoted to helping their neighbors in need.”
The S.C. Fallen Firefighters Memorial, which is housed on the grounds of the S.C. Fire Academy, honors the courage, commitment and sacrifices made by each fallen firefighter.
“There are now 117 firefighter names on the memorial wall who gave their lives in service to us all,” said S.C. State Fire Marshal Jonathan Jones. “We stand committed to always remember these brave fallen heroes. Their legacy lives on in those who continue to protect and ensure the safety of the communities they served.”